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Sapphire PE-AM2 RS485M review

The affordable AM2 alternative

So what are the drawbacks to its size? Well, expansion options are limited for a start...

Our Verdict

Has its merits but expansion possibilities are too limited


  • Solid performer


  • Limited expandability

    Cramped layout

This plucky little Sapphire socket-AM2 board is one of those rare boards that comes complete with integrated graphics. However, we're talking Radeon X300-class 3D power, so it's useful only as a backup.

So what are the drawbacks to its size? Expansion options are limited, with just one single-lane PCI-E slot and two PCI sockets to accompany the 16-lane PCI-E graphics port.

Likewise, the layout around the CPU is cramped, which could cause problems with aftermarket CPU coolers. Stock-clocked performance, however, is solid but not overwhelming. The BIOS lacks memory divider controls and instability creeps in above 250MHz bus speeds.